The Dangers of Diet Soda
You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
That is a familiar saying you certainly heard before, but did you ever stop to think about what it means. Essentially, what the phrase is saying, you can’t get what you want without giving something up. Whatever it is, it comes with a price, a sacrifice, something you have to give up. It could be your money, your time, or a variety of different things.
The food marketing industry would like for your to believe that this is not true. Many consumer food products claim that you can have your cake and eat it, too (not literally). Look at sodas, for instance, everyone knows they are full of sugar and bad for you; they make you gain weight and they rot your teeth. But what about diet soda? They have no sugar. So you can drink as much as want and not gain weight and never have a cavity, right?
The unfortunate truth is that there is no evidence that diet sodas aid in weight loss, and they are just as bad for your teeth as regular sodas, and some studies even suggest they are worse.
At New Albany Implants, there is little we value more that a healthy a smile, and with some healthy home care habits and regular visits to our Southern Indiana office, you can have just that. But it is important that you have accurate information about the food and drinks you consume, so let’s take a look at what is in diet sodas, and effects it can have on your teeth.
High Acid Content
It is true enough that diet sodas do not contain sugar, but sugar is only part of the problem when it comes to your oral health. Acid is the other big contributor to tooth decay and gum disease, and diet sodas have plenty of that. Among the flavoring additives used to give diet soda its sweet taste is phosphoric acid and citric acid, both of which have damaging effect on your teeth.
Phosphoric Acid – Enamel erosion is a common effect that phosphoric acid has on your teeth. This acid makes sodas more acid than lemon juice and vinegar. In fact, phosphoric acid is commonly used to strip rust. You can probably imagine the effect this has on your teeth. The acid weakens your enamel, in extreme cases stripping it away permanently. This makes your teeth more vulnerable to the bacteria that cause decay, and puts you at risk for cavities, tooth loss, and teeth staining.
Phosphoric acid has also been shown to slow your body’s absorption of calcium, which leads to low bone density. This also means your body cannot rebuild the enamel it has loss because it simply doesn’t have the calcium it needs to do so.
Citric Acid – This acid, which occurs naturally in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, is a common flavoring in both sugar filled and sugar free drinks. Like phosphoric acid, citric acid weakens your enamel. Citric acid isn’t just common in sodas, fruit juices, even the no sugar added variety, contain high levels of citric acid. This is one of the reasons so many children get cavities, their parents think they are giving them something healthy, but they are essentially giving their children a soda in disguise.
Another big problem with drinking diet sodas, is that it means you are likely not drinking enough water. If you sip on diet sodas all day because you think they are healthier than regular sodas, then you are doing yourself, and your health, a great disservice.
Your body needs water. Lots of it. And sodas of any variety do not give it enough. If you are not drinking water, you are not only putting your general health at risk, you are also threatening your oral health. Drinking water helps keep your mouth clean by washing away food particles and bacteria, but it also neutralizes the acid in your mouth to protect your teeth and gums. More importantly, it keeps you hydrated so that your body can produce plenty of its natural tooth decay defense, saliva. Dry mouth is one of the biggest contributors to tooth decay and gum disease, so be sure to stay hydrated.
Make It a Treat!
Diet sodas, and regular ones for that matter, are only a serious threat to your oral health when consumed daily, especially if you drink them constantly throughout the day. So if you just treat yourself to one every now and again, then you should have no problem. Just be sure to follow your soda up with a large glass of water, and to minimize direct contact with your teeth, drink sodas through a straw.
Contact New Albany Implants today to high quality dentistry in Southern Indiana.